Opinion

Wednesday 20 September 2017

The Irish word 'craic'... it sure isn't all that it's cracked up to be!

One of the pictures that formed part of the 'Kings of the Craic' exhibition, St Stephen's Green.
One of the pictures that formed part of the 'Kings of the Craic' exhibition, St Stephen's Green.

Nelson McCausland

What's the crack about 'craic'? "The constant Gaelicisation of the good old English/Scottish dialect word 'crack' as 'craic' sets my teeth on edge. It seems, indeed, that many people think that the word is an Irish one."

That was the opinion of the late Professor Diarmaid O Muirithe, a lecturer in Irish at University College Dublin, and I agree with him wholeheartedly.

He described craic as "a hideous neologism". Another linguist described it as "fake Irish", Kevin Myers criticised it as "pseudo-Gaelic" and a "bogus neologism", and the Irish journalist Donald Clarke called it "a linguistic lie".

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